Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, June 21, 2018

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Matthew 18:10-14

The Daily Readings
THURSDAY, June 21, 2018

Old Testament
Numbers 12
Aaron and Miriam Jealous of Moses
12:1 While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had indeed married a Cushite woman); 2 and they said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. 3 Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth. 4 Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them came out. 5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the entrance of the tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forward. 6 And he said, “Hear my words: When there are prophets among you, I the Lord make myself known to them in visions; I speak to them in dreams. 7 Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. 8 With him I speak face to face— clearly, not in riddles; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” 9 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed. 10 When the cloud went away from over the tent, Miriam had become leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron turned towards Miriam and saw that she was leprous. 11 Then Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us for a sin that we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like one stillborn, whose flesh is half consumed when it comes out of its mother’s womb.” 13 And Moses cried to the Lord, “O God, please heal her.” 14 But the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp for seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.” 15 So Miriam was shut out of the camp for seven days; and the people did not set out on the march until Miriam had been brought in again. 16 After that the people set out from Hazeroth, and camped in the wilderness of Paran.

The Epistle
Romans 2:12-24
2:12 All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.
The Jews and the Law
17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relation to God 18 and know his will and determine what is best because you are instructed in the law, 19 and if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth, 21 you, then, that teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You that forbid adultery, do you commit adultery? You that abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You that boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

The Gospel
Matthew 18:10-20
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
18:10 “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. [11 For the Son of Man came to save the lost.] 12 What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
Reproving Another Who Sins
15 “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?

The Morning Prayer for THURSDAY, June 21, 2018

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind In Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
Taken from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, June 21, 2018

Romans 2:12-13 (NIV) All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Read all of Romans 2

Listen to Romans 2

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Exploring the Parables with Cap'n Kenny - The Parable of the Lost Sheep

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Luke 15:1-10
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Jesus’ parables in this section of Luke were meant to flesh out different images of a gracious father pursuing the wicked and desiring repentance. Jesus’ harsh words about judgment must be counterbalanced with his images of a loving father.

How has God shown his love to you today?

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
How has God shown his love to you today?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - PROJECT PEARL PERFUME BIBLES


They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
~ Psalm 19:10 (NIV)

In 1977, Peter Xu became the leader of the Born-Again Movement—a large house church network today in China. Ten years ago he was visiting in the United States and shared a devotional at the Open Doors-USA office. When he saw a sample of a Project Pearl Bible on the shelf, he became very animated. Then a long story developed:

After Project Pearl Bibles were stored in depositories in southern China in the early 1980s, Peter Xu sent three men every month by train to the depository contacts to bring back about 1,000 Bibles per trip for his growing house church movement. One month the three men were discovered with their Bible load by the local police of the depository city. The police threw the 1,000 Project Pearl Bibles into the cesspool of the public latrine and the three men were interrogated and jailed for the weekend.

Monday they were released and commanded to return straight home and never return. Instead they waited inside the latrine until darkness fell. Then they climbed down into the filthy cesspool of human waste carefully retrieving each of the foul smelling books. They washed them off under the local water tap and carried them home. There they dried them out, sprayed them with perfume and circulated them through their network. Such was the hunger and importance of every copy of God’s Word.

Project Pearl certainly had an impact on the future printing of Bibles inside China which continues today. Shortly after the project was completed, China’s Three Self Patriotic Movement announced the first official printing of Bibles inside the country. Noted author and China watcher, David Aikman, wrote in his book, Jesus in Beijing, “[Project] Pearl had a major long-term impact on the overall availability of Bibles in China.”[1]

But more important are the personal evaluations from Chinese believers: “These gifts are more precious than gold!”

RESPONSE: Today I will treasure God’s Word as more valuable than any precious metal or gem.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord that Your precious Word is being made available in countries where it is not valued by those in authority.

1. David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2003), p. 270.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

NIV Devotionals for Men - Shadow of a Doubt

Shadow of a Doubt

Genesis 3:1–15
Recommended Reading: John 1:14–18; 2 Timothy 3:16—4:8; 2 Peter 1:12–21

What happens when people act in direct opposition to what they know is right? This activity happens on a number of levels. When a person who’s trying hard to lose weight consistently binges on pizza and ice cream, disappointment ensues. When an individual commits a crime, victims suffer and the perpetrator risks jail time. When a husband or wife chooses to engage in an extramarital affair, the marriage is damaged—sometimes beyond repair—and children suffer the consequences. When a CEO decides to overlook or sometimes even encourage accounting inconsistencies, giant corporations fail, high-level indictments follow and investors lose their savings.

What do all of the scenarios outlined above have in common? Every one of these accounts, as well as countless other failure-filled stories, can trace its origin to the book of Genesis. Today’s reading gives us a glimpse of the first failure to follow a direct command from God and the devastating results of that failure. We see the repercussions of this disobedience reflected in the daily news—and, if we’re honest, reflected in our own darkened hearts.

At first, Adam and Eve were sure of God’s instructions. There was no doubt. They knew exactly what God wanted because they received their marching orders straight from the Creator himself. Still, a simple challenge (“Did God really say …?”) from the serpent shook Eve’s confidence to the core. Once she questioned what she knew to be true, she became vulnerable to Satan’s temptation. When she and Adam then acted in violation of God’s direct command, sin invaded what had been an unimaginably perfect paradise.

Spiritually speaking, what are you sure of beyond the shadow of a doubt? What do you know to be true? Where does your certainty come from? These are important questions to answer because you face tests every day that can undermine your Biblical marching orders. People may question your mental capacity: “How can an educated person believe in intelligent design when there’s so much evidence to support evolution?” Others may accuse you of being narrow-minded: “How can you say Jesus is the only way to God?” Some may appeal to your sense of freedom: “Doesn’t God want you to have any fun?” Still others might attack the source of your trust: “The Bible is full of inconsistencies, and you’re choosing to base your life on this book?”

How prepared are you for the assaults that will come your way? Do you have a tight grip on God’s truth? Think about this today: How will God’s truth impact your actions—from the time you set foot on the floor in the morning to the minute you go to bed tonight?

To Take Away
  • What are your core faith beliefs—the spiritual truths you are sure of? Take a minute and write down three or four statements that sum up these truths.
  • When was the last time someone challenged your faith? How did it affect you?
  • How did you respond to the challenge? What would you do differently next time?
What happens when people act in direct opposition to what they know is right?

Girlfriends in God - Facing the Unknown with God’s Promises

Facing the Unknown with God’s Promises

Today’s Truth

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.

Friend to Friend

It's amazing how hard we have to work at not letting our emotions trump the truth. It’s especially hard when you receive a phone call from the doctor’s office and the sweet voice on the other end of the line says, “Ma’am, we need you to come back in and have another scan done.”

I was ready to run straight to the office that moment. Unfortunately, their next appointment was a week and a half away, which left me with ten whole days of wondering what the results would be.

Did I have cancer?

Was this my turn?

I probably do, since it's in my family.
I know this is going to be me.
Oh, God . . .

Our thoughts left unchecked can spiral instantly and produce crippling anxiety.

I knew that could happen to me, and I couldn’t walk this road alone. So as soon as I hung up the phone, I sent out prayer requests to my friends, and immediately, they started preaching truth to my soul.

God is faithful.
He will provide, no matter the results.
He can heal here on earth.
Sometimes, He heals in heaven.
He is my manna.
I release this to You, Lord.

For ten days, I practiced what I preach all the time to my coaching clients. I took captive my thoughts and made them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). In the middle of the night, when I woke up with anxiety, I recounted God’s Word in the face of fear, think of the pattern Paul provides for us in Philippians:

Cast all your anxiety on Him.
Tell Him what you need.
Thank Him for all He has already done.

By time the appointment came, my soul was steadfast on God’s faithfulness, no matter the outcome. I was calm right through the first scan. And the one when they called me back and contorted my body for another look. But the time that passed between the sonogram and the call for the doctor was just long enough for my mind to go AWOL.

One thought chased after another as fear twisted truth with lies from the devil’s arsenal.

My wet eyes turned into streaming tears and my chest heaved with sobs as I became desperate to catch my breath. But there was something about the rhythm of my cries that interrupted my thoughts, and I found myself wondering, “What on earth are you crying about girl, you know nothing more now than you did yesterday when you were preaching truth to your soul. Put your armor back on already.”

And with that, I went back to what I already knew:

God, You’ve got this.
You've got me inYyour care and protection.
No matter the results, You are still sovereign.
You've got all that I need.

Perfect peace that passes all understanding began to flood my body again, only to be interrupted by a knock on the door. The doctor walked in with a smile on her face.

“You're clear, come back for a six-month re-check."

When I told this story to a friend, she said, "You must have felt like you got a new lease on life." All I can think is that I already got that, years ago, when I gave my life to Him. This is all just bonus time, made sweeter by living with His peace in the midst of the chaos we can’t ever really control.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I am so grateful that when I don’t know what lies ahead, You do. You know everything about me. You know everything about my life. You do not remove Your hand from me, even when I don’t understand what is going on. Please, God, guard my heart and mind with Your truth. Motivate me to get into Your Word so that the Holy Spirit may draw upon it whenever I find myself anxious and worried about the future.
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn

When you face the unknown, how do you respond? Do you panic and worry? How can you begin the habit of preaching truth to your soul by praying through God’s Word?

More from the Girlfriends

Longing to see God’s plans and purposes for your life with a fresh perspective? Elisa is about the business of doing just that in her devotional book, Unblinded Faith: Gaining Spiritual Sight Through Believing God’s Word. Join her on a 90-day journey through the Scriptures to discover how embracing the Truth will fill you with unshakable hope.

Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
It's amazing how hard we have to work at not letting our emotions trump the truth.

LHM Devotion - June 21, 2018 - The Windfall of Persistence

Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Windfall of Persistence"

Jun. 21, 2018

(Jesus said) "Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."
~ Matthew 20:28 (ESV)

Some people are incredibly good-looking, and other people are less so.

No matter how you look, a guilty conscience can spoil the view when you look into the mirror. That is not just my opinion, it is also shared by Andy Patel.

Here's his story: last March a long-term customer came into the gas station in Salina, Kansas, where Patel works. The man asked Patel to check three lottery tickets he had brought with him. Patel checked the first two, but not the third.

Something happened, the customer left, and the third ticket was forgotten. Only later did Patel remember to check the ticket. His scan showed it was worth $1 million.

So, Patel has a big-dollar ticket, but he has no one to give it to. He said, "They didn't know they had the winning ticket, so they never would have known if I hadn't found them. But then you'd have to live through the guilt of that all your life."

Patel checked with his boss, and they decided to track down the owner. But where to begin?

Eventually, they thought they had discovered the man's neighborhood, but they had no idea which house was his. They drove around hoping to identify his car. Once again, it was a dead end. But then the searchers got lucky; they spotted the man's vehicle leaving the neighborhood.

They followed him, flagged him down, and told the man the good news.

And for their trouble, Patel and his boss received $1,200 from a local firm, which awards cash for folks with "helping hands."

Now my question to you is this: how far would you go to do the right thing? Would you, like Patel and his boss, try to seek out the lottery ticket's owner? Would you invest your own time driving through neighborhoods, trying to spot his car? How many hours would you invest before you threw up your hands and said, "Well, I've tried. I can't do anymore."

There are times when I wonder if Jesus ever felt that way about His mission and ministry here on earth.

* Did he want to say, "I've tried; I can't do anymore," when His hometown comrades rejected Him and tried to kill Him?

* Did He want to say, "I've had enough" when nine of the lepers didn't bother to come back and thank Him?

* Did He want to throw in the towel when His disciples deserted Him, betrayed Him, and denied ever knowing Him?

You know the answers to those questions. The Savior continued, doing everything that was necessary, so we might be rescued and redeemed. It was an incredibly thankless task, but it is one He accepted so that we might hear the Good News of forgiveness.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for Your Son who gave His life so that our lives might be changed. For the times we are unappreciative or take His sacrifice for granted, we are heartily sorry. Grant that we may do our best to share the Good News which has been given to us at such a high cost. In the Savior's Name, I pray. Amen.

The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Lindsay Kimble for People Magazine on June 8, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written:

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Some people are incredibly good-looking, and other people are less so.

CPTLN Devocional de 21 de Junio de 2018 - Estaban equivocados


Estaban equivocados

21 de Junio de 2018

¿Conoces acaso las leyes de los cielos? ¿Puedes controlar su potestad en la tierra?
~ Job 38:33 (RVC)

A los poetas les gusta escribir sobre la luna, porque se la asocia con los enamorados.

A los niños les gusta jugar a encontrar la luna, porque siempre cambia de tamaño y de posición.

Los agricultores, los pescadores y muchos otros, saben cómo usar las fases de la luna para obtener mayores beneficios en lo que hacen.

Pero hay algunas personas que en estos momentos no están muy contentas con la luna.

Según un artículo publicado por la cadena de noticias ABC los científicos, que creían que la luna era seca, estaban equivocados.

De acuerdo a un estudio publicado en la revista Nature llevado a cabo por investigadores de la Universidad Brown, en piedras traídas por las misiones Apollo se ha encontrado evidencia de moléculas de agua.

Estos descubrimientos indican que existe una buena posibilidad de que debajo de la superficie de la luna haya agua atrapada. Si esto es así, las cosas que se han asumido hasta ahora acerca de la luna cambiarán radicalmente.

Hace muchos siglos, el Señor le preguntó a Job: "¿Conoces acaso las leyes de los cielos?" Si Dios nos hiciera hoy la misma pregunta, tendríamos que decir "no". El ser humano es cada vez más inteligente... pero no perfecto.

En realidad, si somos sinceros, debemos reconocer que la sabiduría popular no es tan "sabia" como a veces pensamos. Una y otra vez hemos visto cómo, al aparecer una evidencia que antes no existía, la verdad de ayer se transforma en un: "¡Me cuesta imaginar que la gente creyera ESO!"

A pesar de todos los viajes hechos a la luna y de todas las inteligencias puestas al servicio de la ciencia, todavía se siguen descubriendo cosas nuevas que desmienten las conclusiones de hace un tiempo atrás.

Por eso es que prefiero depositar mi confianza en el Señor, porque si él promete enviar a su Hijo a salvarnos, lo hace. Si él dice que Jesús va a vivir por nosotros, morir en la cruz del Calvario por nosotros, y al tercer día resucitar de la muerte para rescatarnos, lo cumple.

Como dice San Pablo, yo sé en quien he creído.

ORACIÓN: Querido Señor, te doy gracias porque nos has bendecido con los conocimientos y milagros de la tecnología moderna. Ayúdame a recordar que tu voluntad y tus caminos son siempre verdaderos y dignos de ser confiados. En el nombre del Salvador. Amén.

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
A los poetas les gusta escribir sobre la luna, porque se la asocia con los enamorados.

Хлеб наш насущный - Время говорить

Время говорить

Читать сейчас: Псалом 89:9-17 | Библия за год: Есфирь 3-5; Деяния 5:22-42

[Дорожите] временем, потому что дни лукавы.Ефесянам 5:15-16

«У западных людей – часы, а у африканцев – время». Эту африканскую поговорку процитировал Ос Гиннесс в своей книге «Невозможные люди». Я прочитал и задумался, как часто говорил людям, что у меня нет времени. Мы действительно живем под тиранией часовых стрелок. Расписания и сроки господствуют над жизнью многих наших современников.

Моисей молился: «Научи нас так счислять дни наши, чтобы нам приобрести сердце мудрое» (Пс. 89:12). А Павел писал: «Смотрите, поступайте осторожно... дорожа временем, потому что дни лукавы» (Еф. 5:15-16).

Думаю, Павел и Моисей согласились бы, что мудрое распоряжение временем – это не вопрос пользования наручными часами. Обстоятельства порой вынуждают нас придерживаться жесткого графика. Но они же могут побудить нас подарить кому-то дополнительный час или два своего драгоценного времени.

Вся наша жизнь – короткий миг, в который мы можем повлиять на мир во имя Христа. И этой возможностью надо пользоваться. Может быть, для этого потребуется снять часы и отменить планы, но это даст возможность проявить терпеливую любовь Христа перед теми, кого Он привел в нашу жизнь.

Начнем жить в силе и благодати вечного Христа, и тогда наше время будет иметь вечную ценность.
Небесный Отец, Ты дал нам достаточно времени, чтобы исполнить Твою волю. Помоги использовать его так, чтобы прославить Тебя.
Распоряжение временем – не слежка за часами, а наилучшее его употребление.

© 2018 Хлеб Наш Насущный
«У западных людей – часы, а у африканцев – время».